Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guest Writer- Jasmin Foster: Dietitian Ambition

My name is Jasmin Foster and I am a Dietetics graduate from the University of Kentucky. While in the didactic program at University of Kentucky my most exciting class was Quantity Food Production.  My classmates and I were in charge of running a student restaurant, The Lemon Tree.  For only $11.00 guests reserved a table where we would provide a three course meal.  Students worked in pairs and rotated to every position of the restaurant to gain a diverse experience.  Of course, we were supervised by a wonderful team that included a registered dietitian, two chefs, and two teaching assistants.  For each meal students we were responsible to prepare food for an average of 40-50 guests and additional food for the class to eat making the total to at least 70 people!  My partner and I started off working in front of house as servers.  Here, we were in charge of preparing the dining room for service.  As a server I learned etiquette on which side to stand, how to properly pour drinks, and how to set the dining room table.  As front of house manager we were in charge of deciding the placement of table, decorations, handling money, and helping servers when in need.                                                               

The majority of the position were in back of house as cooks. All meals were made fresh and each day of service featured a Kentucky Proud or locally grown product.  Some items were provided straight from the farm of our chef! As back of house manager responsibilities were to ensure everything ran smoothly by overseeing operations of all the cooks, delegating cleaning responsibilities, and working with the front of house manager to provide the correct number of dinner plates, glasses, and silverware needed. When my partner and I were in charge of dessert we made lemon poppy seed cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and raspberry drizzle. Some other dishes I made throughout the semester included spinach dip, sautéed kale, roasted turkey, pita bread, and a caprese salad with arugula greens. Customers of Lemon Tree were mostly faculty, staff, and family members of students. I was able to work on a larger scale using RoboCop mixers, large salad spinners, commercial ovens, ranges, and steam tables.  Overall I learned a lot and gained a deeper understanding about what it takes to run a restaurant.  Teamwork through effective communication, preparation, timeliness, and great customer service made my semester in The Lemon Tree a success.  Having a hands on learning class was a great contrast to the medical nutrition therapy and science courses. To view more pictures visit The Lemon Tree Facebook Page (

Want to learn more about Jasmin's experience? Check out her blog at and on facebook at Dietitian Ambition 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

12 ways to motivate yourself to exercise

 Today I was asked why I workout as religiously as I do. It's simple: I really can't afford not to workout!  Heart disease is the number one killer in America and by exercising 30 minutes a day the risk is cut in half.
Well Sylvia, that's great but how do you find motivation to exercise when you don't want to get off the couch? Well today, I am answering that question!  I sat down and really thought about what keeps me motivated and while there are millions of ways to motivate yourself to exercise, I'm going to share a few that have worked for me.

  • The feeling after a workout. I love that "high" I get after a long workout.  I remind myself of how good I am going to feel later. 
  • Me time. While we find time to take care of others, we often put ourselves on the back burner. Exercising is one of the few times a day I truly zone out and take care of myself mentally and physically. 
  • Adrenaline rush. I get a rush of energy when I am doing a new workout. Ride that rush to complete it.
  • Calories burned. Recently, I received a Polar heart-rate monitor watch as a gift.  I track my calories and push myself to go a little farther and harder than the day before. 
  • Having fun. I am constantly mixing up my workout routines.  One day I'm at the gym, next a fitness class, after that a home workout DVD.  I always try to keep things new and exciting and prevent getting in an exercise "rut". What's the best part about mixing up your workouts? No muscle memory so you are constantly working and pushing yourself!
  • The future you. Visualize a happier, healthier you.
  • Blogs. I love to read blogs from RD's, athletes, and runners.  Learning their up and downs is inspirational and you can learn from their experiences. 
  • Success stories. Nothing can compare to testimonials of others who have reached their goal.  Just think, one day that will be you.
  • Cheat days. Let's be honest. It is unrealistic to have perfect days all year long.  Schedule yourself a cheat day once a week.  Studies have determined if you allow yourself a cheat day you will be more likely to comply to the new lifestyle habit. 
  • Contemplation time. I do my best thinking when I workout because I have a clear head. 
  • The dreaded feeling of not exercising. I love waking up early in the morning and getting my workout in before the rest of the day.  Whenever I don't workout, I feel more tired and sluggish.
  • Upcoming event. Anything from a weekend date, graduation, or upcoming vacation.  Find a day that has meaning to you and make a commitment to yourself to prepare for the event. 
What keeps you motivated? I would love hearing your thoughts and ideas! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Video Blog! Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. Super Bowl!

These little bites are a great additive to any Super Bowl Party.  At 120 calories a serving and 2 grams of fat, you won't have to worry about munching on these all night!

                                                 Watch my video on how to make them! 

1 head cauliflower 
1 cup milk
3/4 cups flour
2 tsp garlic powder
1 T butter
1 cup Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce